Food  |  Things to Do

13 Fall Festivals You Can Enjoy Without Kids Around

Here's where to enjoy libations, haunted houses, and fall scenery sans children.

Image via iStock.

Fall festival season comes with a lot of great things: pumpkin-picking, delicious apple cider, and picturesque fall foliage. It also means bumping into small children everywhere you go because every farm is “family-friendly.” If that’s not your style, here are more than a dozen fall festivals around DC where there’s either age restrictions or a small chance of interacting with a child.

Corn mazes, pumpkin patches, and markets

Maryland Corn Maze
389 Gambrills Road, Gambrills
Head to Maryland Sunrise Farm and get lost in an eight-acre corn maze. The farm is kid-friendly, but the maze is so big you should have plenty of room to roam undisturbed. There’s also a slew of other activities where you’re more likely to run into youngsters, including a zip line and petting zoo. The maze on is open on weekends until Thursday, November 6, and tickets cost $15.95

Pumpkin Patch at Queen Anne Farm
18102 Central Ave., Mitchellville
This farm doesn’t have all of the games and activities other pumpkin patches have, but that makes it the perfect outing for adults in search of the perfect pumpkin or a bunch of mums to decorate their homes. The pumpkin patch is open every day until Monday, November 7, and entry costs $10 per vehicle.

Adult Corn Maze at Great Country Farms 
19780 Foggy Bottom Road, Bluemont
Nestled at the foot of the Blue Ridge Mountains is the perfect opportunity for a corn maze experience without the anxiety-inducing sound of a screeching child. A $30 ticket includes access to the the Great Country Farms fall corn maze and a choice of cider, wine, and beer from nearby Henway Hard Cider and Bluemont Vineyard. The event takes place on Friday, October 7 and Saturday, October 8.

Lucketts Fall Market
890 West Main St., Berryville
Looking to stock up on autumn décor? This three-day market in Berryville will showcase antique furnishings, vintage clothing, and other knick-knacks from more than 200 vendors. When you’re taking a break from shopping, grab some beer and food and enjoy live music and workshops. The festival will run from Friday, October 14, to Sunday, October 16. General admission tickets cost $15 for one day, but $45 weekend passes are also available.

Loudoun County Fall Farm Tour
Various locations
Spend a beautiful fall weekend hanging out at dozens of farms across Loudoun County on Saturday, October 15, and Sunday, October 16. The twice-annual tour is self-guided, meaning visitors can visit as many (or as little) farms as they like while meeting alpacas and chickens; picking pumpkins and flowers; and taking hayrides. (Note: Some farms may require reservations.)

Fall food events

Wunder Garten’s Oktoberfest 
1101 First St., NE
This NoMa beer garden’s annual Oktoberfest celebration is still on for the next week. The free festival ends on Sunday, October 9, so don’t miss the chance to compete in their stein-holding contests and other Bavarian games. Other highlights: Sunday Yappy Hour turns into DOGtoberfest (which features puppies in cute costumes), and there will be a PRIDEtoberfest event on Thursday, October 6.

The Winery at Bull Run’s Harvest Party
15950 Lee Hwy., Centreville
On Friday, October 7, head to this Virginia winery for live music, s’mores roasting over an open fire, and delicious treats from local food vendors. You can also try specialty fall drinks like mulled wine or “Apple Cindonnay.” The event runs from 6 to 9 PM. Tickets cost $25 per person.

Mount Vernon Fall Wine Festival and Sunset Tour
3200 Mount Vernon Memorial Hwy., Mount Vernon
Enjoy unlimited wine samples from Virginia wineries while you relax on Mount Vernon’s East Lawn from Friday, October 7 to Sunday, October 9. The mansion will be open for tours and the Mount Vernon Inn will have light bites and drinks available for purchase. Tickets cost between $53 and $59 for non-members.

Pennsylvania Ave. between Third and Sixth streets, NW 
The District’s largest beer festival returns on Saturday, October 8. Festivalgoers can sample 350 beers, wines, and cocktails from more than 175 different producers. There will also be local food trucks and two stages of live music. VIP passes are sold out, but general admission tickets are still available for $65 per person.

Scary fun

Markoff’s Haunted Forest
19120 Martinsburg Road, Dickerson
Venture out to this Halloween legend for a night of terror in the woods. Visitors can ride a wagon to Onslaught Mills, an abandoned mining town full of flesh-eating zombies, or trek through the mile-long haunted trail where terrifying creatures creep in the shadows. If you need to take a breather from the excitement, hang with the ghouls and goblins around giant bonfires in the cursed village for free. There’s also music, snacks, and games. Tickets to the town start at $20, and tickets for the trail start at $30. Be sure to grab them in advance because purchasing them on the day of your visit will cost more. Markoff’s is open every Friday, Saturday, and Sunday until Halloween.

Alexandria Ghost Tour Pub Crawl
480 King St., Alexandria
Sip on brews from local pubs and explore some of the most historic and haunted places in Old Town Alexandria. You’ll hear a mix of history and popular ghost stories and stop at three or four different pubs along the way. The tours last about two hours and run Thursdays through Sundays through December. Tickets cost $25 per person.

The Nevermore Haunt
450 Mott St., Baltimore
Based on late 19th century Baltimore, the Nevermore Haunt is said to be the city’s scariest haunted house. (There’s even a height and age limit!) As you explore the attraction, you’ll encounter the restless spirits of drowned sailors, tortured factory workers, and other ghastly creatures. Other features include a side show with a lineup of bizarre acts and an outdoor bar. Open every weekend, the Nevermore Haunt runs through October 31. General admission tickets start at $22.

Haunted Tastings at Granite Heights Winery
8141 Opal Road, Warrenton
This small boutique winery transforms into a haunted house for a couple weekends every October. With the purchase of a $30 ticket, visitors can go on a tour of the property while sipping on half a dozen wines, munching on light bites, and listening to spooky stories. The event runs FridayOctober 21, to Saturday, October 22, and FridayOctober 28, to SaturdayOctober 29.

Damare Baker
Research Editor

Before becoming Research Editor, Damare Baker was an Editorial Fellow and Assistant Editor for Washingtonian. She has previously written for Voice of America and The Hill. She is a graduate of Georgetown University, where she studied international relations, Korean, and journalism.